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Valdez poised for rousing return

Creamline ace hitter Alyssa Valdez is upbeat about regaining her old dangerous form just in time for the Cool Smashers’ grand slam campaign in the Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference.
Months removed from action after a bout with dengue that forced her to sit out Creamline’s international stints, Valdez is making good progress with her physical conditioning and is now actively participating in practice.

Valdez contracted dengue just days after leading the Cool Smashers to the Invitational Conference title — the crowd-favorite team’s second straight crown in the second season of the country’s first and only professional women’s volleyball league — last August.

The three-time PVL Most Valuable Player was reduced to a mere spectator when Creamline gave the host Philippines its best finish in the AVC Cup for Women at sixth place and during the ASEAN Grand Prix in Thailand last month.

Valdez was hospitalized after suffering from high fever, body malaise and headache.

Her platelet count dropped dangerously low and had complications of bleeding and swollen liver.

Now fully recovered, the 29-year-old spiker is working on being physically ready to help the Cool Smashers complete a season sweep.

“I feel much stronger right now compared to a month ago when I could not even move,” Valdez said, who was in her usual bubbly disposition while talking to the media during the press conference of the import-laden tournament Wednesday.

“At least my body is responding well with the (conditioning) program the coaches prepared for me. I was able to practice with the team in the past weeks. Hopefully, my progress will be better.”

The skipper also credited her team as her inspiration during her recovery.

“Actually, I was watching their game when I was in the hospital. They gave me so much energy and willingness to recover fast,” she said.

Creamline will open its bid for the crown on 13 October against PLDT at the Philsports Arena. The league will formally open on Saturday at the Sta. Rosa Sports Complex in Laguna.

The Cool Smashers is once again the consensus team to beat with their solid lineup made even deeper with the acquisition of Turkish import Yeliz Basa.

The open spiker, who won gold for the Turkey national team in the 2014 Women’s European Volleyball League, added more firepower for the already wing-heavy Creamline.

With local wingers in Jema Galanza and Rosemarie Vargas along with Tots Carlos and Michele Gumabao already at the disposal of head coach Sherwin Meneses, Valdez embraces the fact that some players including her will have their playing minutes shaved off.

“What’s good about the team is that we’ve accepted our roles and we know that we only have one goal — to help each other and enjoy every match,” Valdez said.
“We really just trust the system.”

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